Mutton Biryani: The Tasty Mélange Of Aromatic Spices

Biryani, a delicious rice preparation flavoured with meat and spices, is such a popular dish in India that it was the most ordered dish on delivery apps in India, last year. Biryani is served across the country, from high-end restaurants to small eating joints, proof of its popularity. There are various preparations of biryani across the country, with variations in ingredients. The dish involves an elaborate preparation process, but it can also be made at home.  

Theories abound with regard to the origin of Biryani. It is said to have originated in Persia. According to some accounts, the Mughals introduced biryani to India. However, some claim that the dish was introduced by Arab traders, so the history of biryani is debated, but the popularity of biryani has remained, unabated, through centuries.  

Biryani is made with meat marinated in yoghurt and spices, but you can also marinate the meat in spices, without yoghurt. The secret is in the amount and combination of spices used. The mutton should be marinated and kept aside for a minimum of half an hour. 

Here’s the recipe for Mutton Biryani.


  • ½ kg mutton
  • 3 onions
  • 1 cup fried onion slices
  • 3 tomatoes
  • Green chillies
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • ½ cup kewra water 
  • Kashmiri red chilli powder 
  • Jeera powder 
  • Garam masala powder 
  • Jaitri japhiri powder
  • 1 black cardamom 
  • Turmeric powder 
  • Lemon juice
  • Coriander leaves
  • Bay leaves
  • Cumin seeds
  • Cinnamon sticks 
  • 1 star anise
  • Black cardamom
  • 4-5 cups of basmati rice
  • Salt, to taste
  • Refined oil


  • Roast one teaspoon of jeera powder.
  • Cut the onions into slices and dice the tomatoes.
  • Wash and soak the long grain rice in water. 
  • Crush one piece of ginger and four garlic cloves and chop a handful of coriander leaves. 
  • Marinate the mutton with kewra water, roasted jeera powder, garam masala powder, lemon  juice, salt, Kashmiri red chilli powder, turmeric powder, and jaitri japhiri powder.
  • Keep aside the marinated chicken for half an hour.
  • Heat five to six tablespoons of oil in a pan.
  • Add two bay leaves, and one teaspoon of cumin seeds, and saute for a minute, add the onions, and saute until the onions turn golden brown.
  • Add the crushed garlic and ginger, and mix well.
  • Add the marinated mutton and fry for 10 minutes. 
  • Add the diced tomatoes, and mix well.
  • Cover the mutton and let it cook on low flame for a few minutes.
  • Add three slit green chillies and some chopped coriander leaves and stir well. Pressure cook the mutton.
  • In a large pan filled half with water, add salt, jeera powder, bay leaves, star anise, black cardamom pod, cinnamon sticks, oil, and lemon juice. 
  • Add the long grain rice and put everything to boil.
  • Wait till a little bit of water is left and then drain the rice.
  • In a big pan, put rice as the first layer, chicken curry as the second layer, add fried onion slices, then put rice, followed by the chicken curry. 
  • Once the biryani is layered, cover the pan and steam the biryani for 15 minutes.
  • Serve the Mutton Biryani hot with raita and a chicken gravy side dish.